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Vegetarian Cacciatore

shantihhh's picture
CACCIATORE (" in the style of foragers") is one of the most popular Northern Italian recipes. To me it is true comfort food, perfect for a fall meal. I use an assortment of available vegetables with the back-drop of tomatoes. I usually use some sliced crimini mushrooms and a few soaked dried porcini to give that earthiness to the cacciatore.
Ingredients
  Soaked channa 1 Cup (16 tbs) (garbanzos)
  Salt 1 Teaspoon
  Ground black pepper 1 Teaspoon (plus more to taste)
  Olive oil 2 Tablespoon
  Yellow bell pepper 1 Large, cut into pieces
  Onion 1 1⁄2
  Carrots 1 Cup (16 tbs)
  Celery 1 1⁄2 Cup (24 tbs), sliced
  Sliced mushrooms 1 Cup (16 tbs) (sliced crimini + soaked dry porcini)
  Garlic 3 Clove (15 gm), finely minced
  Dry white wine 3⁄4 Cup (12 tbs)
  Diced tomatoes 28 Ounce (with juice)
  Fat free vegetable broth 3⁄4 Cup (12 tbs)
  Drained capers 3 Tablespoon
  Minced flat leaf italian parsley 3 Tablespoon (1 tablespoon reserved for garnish)
  Chile flakes To Taste
  Flour 50 Gram (to thicken mixed with water)
  Dried oregano 1 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Chopped basil 1⁄3 Cup (5.33 tbs)
Directions

In a large heavy sauté pan like Le Crousset, heat the oil over a medium-high flame.

Add the onion to the pan and caramelize, then add the garlic, stir and simmer, then add the bell pepper, onion, carrots, celery, mushrooms and any other vegetables you are using, simmering a little while, about 5-6 minutes until veggies are a little tender.

Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 2 - 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, broth, capers, chile flakes, and oregano. Simmer to cook down liquid.

Add flour mixed with water to thicken, continue simmering over medium-low heat about 10 minutes until thickened.
Spoon the cacciatore on a serving platter, then sprinkle with reserved parsley, grate fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese on top, and serve with creamy polenta. (See recipe below)

Creamy Polenta
Ingredients
• 1 cup polenta
• 1 1/2 cups half and half
• 3 fresh thyme sprigs
• 2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and smashed
• 1 cup vegetable stock
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
• 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions
In a large pot add half and half along with thyme and garlic. Bring to a simmer then shut off the heat to let the half and half steep. Let it steep for at least 30 minutes.

Once steeped, remove the thyme and garlic. Bring the half and half back up to a simmer and gradually pour in the polenta in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly.

Once the half and half is completely absorbed, lower the heat and set a timer for 20 minutes. Continue cooking, whisking often, until the timer goes off, add stock if the mixture is too thick (it should be like creamy mashed potatoes). Once the timer goes off the polenta should be thick and smooth. Finish with butter, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and salt and pepper.

Recipe Summary

Cuisine: 
Italian
Course: 
Main Dish
Taste: 
Savory
Method: 
Saute
Restriction: 
Vegetarian
Ingredient: 
Vegetable
Interest: 
Gourmet, Healthy
Preparation Time: 
20 Minutes
Cook Time: 
60 Minutes
Ready In: 
80 Minutes
Servings: 
6
Story
Cacciatore is a perfect fall or winter meal that can be prepared ahead of time. You can use any combination of vegetables along with the tomatoes to prepare a very fragrant and tasty meal. Leftovers reheat beautifully as the flavours develop further in overnight refrigeration. Photo of ingredients taken in my kitchen using Nikon D80 Use garbanzo beans (chana, chickpea, chloe, ceci beans) and combination of any favourite vegetables (carrots, green beans, celery, cabbage, okra, peppers, onions, and herbs) Serve with creamy polenta or with rice or nan.

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